Wondering how many novels begin in the shower

So for two days I’ve been off on a mini-writing retreat, and was feeling a little bit grumpy, because I’d written a few sentences here and there on would-be projects, but had gotten–it seemed–nothing much done. I finally backed off, and started on a rewrite of an older project I’ve been meaning to revisit instead.

And then, standing in the shower this morning–feeling grumpy because I was slow getting moving today, all at once, I had the very rough shape and structure and plot of one of the projects I’ve been trying to write, the one I’ve been thinking of as just “the Iceland novel.”

I love it when that happens. All that time you feel like you’re dragging your feet, and really you’re working. Who knew?

I hurried out of the shower and quickly typed in four paragraphs that give me a pretty good feel–at last–for what this novel is, and what’s going on with it. Which is strange enough, because I usually don’t work anything out ahead of time. And this isn’t terribly detailed, even so–but it gives my floundering a direction. I am happy.

Even though, I can tell, it’s not time to go back to writing this one quite yet. The writing well still wants to fill a little bit more first–and there are relevant reference books to be read, too.

Sometimes, the way to write something is to back off from it a little first. Another one of those things I know, but keep forgetting and needing to relearn. 🙂

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